Exhibitions

(Sunday) (Sunday)

The weight of the world is love. . . . No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— Allen Ginsberg, "Song," 1954

In March 2011, Ragnar Kjartansson’s three nieces—Ragnheidur Harpa Leifsdóttir, Rakel Mjöll Leifsdóttir, and Íris María Leifsdóttir—began singing a gentle folk song in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture; they repeated the elegiac refrain for six hours. The performance was documented by a single camera that rotated around the three youthful singers. Kjartansson has stated that he was inspired by the sculptures and trappings of the Carnegie’s Hall of Sculpture, commissioned around 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest steel tycoons and philanthropists of 19th-century America. As a response to this unusual setting, the artist cast his nieces as classical muses in this grand hall wrought by the industrial revolution. In the artist’s words:

“I was strumming my guitar in a hammock in a hippie commune in Nikiasalka, Poland. It was an old mansion, surrounded by forest and endless Polish fields. Children running around naked and artists building sculptures in trees and letting balloons go into thin air. . . . As I lay in the hammock I tried to remember that poem 'Song' by Allen Ginsberg and strummed E major and A major: 'The Weight of The World is Love.' Then I remembered something of sleep and dreams. Strumming, falling asleep, strumming, falling asleep. Then slowly this song emerged based on what was left of the poem in my memory. . . . Then I was invited to do a show at the Carnegie. I saw those Gilded Age, industrialist halls of marble, those idle sculptures looking down at you. I remembered that song and I thought of my nieces. They should play it here. A bed-in at the Hall of Sculpture.”

The endless repetition of the lyrics, set to melancholic strumming on an acoustic guitar, resonates with the historic space of the Carnegie’s Hall of Sculpture. The ever-repeating chorus—a slightly misremembered phrase from Allen Ginsberg’s poem "Song"—and the three girls sitting on a plinth covered with royal blue satin transform the marbled hall into a conflated space wherein different ages and various participants are in dialogue: Ginsberg’s poem and its romantic declaration that accumulates the cathartic force of a prayer through repetition; the neoclassical plaster casts of the ancient sculptures looking down at the scenery as if watching an otherworldly spectacle; and the three nieces passively embodying both classical and contemporary ideals of beauty as if in a trance. Yet here, in the installation at the Cleveland Museum of Art where the gallery walls are draped in same the blue satin featured in the video, the viewer is spatially connected to Kjartansson’s resounding orchestration.

Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
OH 44106 Cleveland
United states
Array
http://www.clevelandart.org/events/exhibitions/ragnar-k...

Selection of further exhibitions in: United states

03.01.2016 - 03.05.2020
Mexican and Latino Art Museum | San Francisco | In Association With The Smithsonian Institution - Th
Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D
San Francisco

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24.01.3086 - 24.03.3086
Mexican and Latino Art Museum | San Francisco | In Association With The Smithsonian Institution - Th
Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D
San Francisco

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16.11.2019 - 30.08.2020
Legion of Honor | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
100 34th Avenue
San Francisco

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27.11.2018 - 29.03.2020
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston

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21.03.2020 - 06.09.2020
Legion of Honor | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
100 34th Avenue
San Francisco

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07.12.2018 - 06.12.2020
Seattle Art Museum
1300 FIRST AVENUE
Seattle

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01.08.2019 - 03.03.2020
05.05.2018 - 12.04.2020
Seattle Art Museum
1300 FIRST AVENUE
Seattle

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13.12.2019 - 28.06.2020
Seattle Art Museum
1300 FIRST AVENUE
Seattle

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15.12.2018 - 30.06.2020
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston

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06.04.2019 - 28.06.2020
Seattle Art Museum
1300 FIRST AVENUE
Seattle

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18.07.2019 - 07.06.2020
Perez Art Museum Miami - PAMM
1103 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami

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04.05.2019 - 08.03.2020
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston

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01.03.2019 - 26.04.2020
Seattle Art Museum
1300 FIRST AVENUE
Seattle

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26.04.2019 - 29.03.2020
Perez Art Museum Miami - PAMM
1103 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami

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09.11.2019 - 15.03.2020
de Young Museum | de Young
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco

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01.11.2019 - 22.03.2020
The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
New York

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22.11.2019 - 06.07.2020
Perez Art Museum Miami - PAMM
1103 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami

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Exhibitions Cleveland Museum of Art Main address: Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Boulevard OH 44106 Cleveland, United states Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Boulevard OH 44106 Cleveland, United states The weight of the world is love. . . . No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— Allen Ginsberg, "Song," 1954

In March 2011, Ragnar Kjartansson’s three nieces—Ragnheidur Harpa Leifsdóttir, Rakel Mjöll Leifsdóttir, and Íris María Leifsdóttir—began singing a gentle folk song in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture; they repeated the elegiac refrain for six hours. The performance was documented by a single camera that rotated around the three youthful singers. Kjartansson has stated that he was inspired by the sculptures and trappings of the Carnegie’s Hall of Sculpture, commissioned around 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest steel tycoons and philanthropists of 19th-century America. As a response to this unusual setting, the artist cast his nieces as classical muses in this grand hall wrought by the industrial revolution. In the artist’s words:

“I was strumming my guitar in a hammock in a hippie commune in Nikiasalka, Poland. It was an old mansion, surrounded by forest and endless Polish fields. Children running around naked and artists building sculptures in trees and letting balloons go into thin air. . . . As I lay in the hammock I tried to remember that poem 'Song' by Allen Ginsberg and strummed E major and A major: 'The Weight of The World is Love.' Then I remembered something of sleep and dreams. Strumming, falling asleep, strumming, falling asleep. Then slowly this song emerged based on what was left of the poem in my memory. . . . Then I was invited to do a show at the Carnegie. I saw those Gilded Age, industrialist halls of marble, those idle sculptures looking down at you. I remembered that song and I thought of my nieces. They should play it here. A bed-in at the Hall of Sculpture.”

The endless repetition of the lyrics, set to melancholic strumming on an acoustic guitar, resonates with the historic space of the Carnegie’s Hall of Sculpture. The ever-repeating chorus—a slightly misremembered phrase from Allen Ginsberg’s poem "Song"—and the three girls sitting on a plinth covered with royal blue satin transform the marbled hall into a conflated space wherein different ages and various participants are in dialogue: Ginsberg’s poem and its romantic declaration that accumulates the cathartic force of a prayer through repetition; the neoclassical plaster casts of the ancient sculptures looking down at the scenery as if watching an otherworldly spectacle; and the three nieces passively embodying both classical and contemporary ideals of beauty as if in a trance. Yet here, in the installation at the Cleveland Museum of Art where the gallery walls are draped in same the blue satin featured in the video, the viewer is spatially connected to Kjartansson’s resounding orchestration.
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